After many technical hurdles over the past month in getting the camera signal from the base of the tree relayed to the refuge headquarters – and then onto the Internet – this morning we finally have our video stream online! The new camera produces a good, full-motion stream – plus we have audio, which was sorely missing previously.
And lo, as we went online today a pair of geese arrived and immediately made themselves at home. So with the geese colonizing the nest, it appears the eagle nest this season may be a “geegle” nest. Geese, of course, are fascinating too; they don’t build nests themselves and thus will take over the nests of other large birds, particularly ospreys. Typically geese lay 2-8 eggs with a gestation period of 28-30 days. If things progress we may see goslings around May 6-8; the little ones will be in the nest only a day or so, then will jump out to join their parents on the ground below the nest. For this nest high in a cottonwood tree, that’s a drop of about 60 feet.
Thank you to the many collaborators on this project: the Friends of Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, which purchased the camera equipment and spearheaded this whole effort; Skywalker Tree Care and Michael Richardson for climbing the nest tree and placing the camera; Meadow Creek Computer Works and InterMax Networks for providing networking services and Internet connection; camera tech Carlo Pati for configuring the camera and live stream here; and of course the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge itself for its partnership.
Now, let’s watch and see what Nature has in store for us, and the geese and the eagles this year!